Lt. Governor Darr Joins 21 States and 150 Elected Officials Supporting Healthcare Appeal

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sarah Beth Lowe
Phone: 501-682-2198 | Email: sarahbeth.lowe@arkansas.gov

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

LITTLE ROCK - Lt. Governor Mark A. Darr in his capacity as an individual fulfilled a promise to the people of Arkansas by filing an amicus brief on behalf of the nearly 70% of Arkansans of all political stripes, who oppose the federal healthcare law, known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPAC).

On Monday, 21 states filed a brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit supporting Lt. Governor Peter Kinder in his constitutional challenge to the Individual Mandate provision of the federal healthcare law.

Separately, more than 150 elected executive and legislative officials of states within the Eighth Circuit filed a brief asking the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals to reach a decision regarding the substantive constitutional issue and not delay resolving the case on procedural grounds.

"This is very significant and welcome support of our challenge to the federal health care law," said Lt. Governor Kinder. "I commend Lt. Governor Darr for his willingness to step forward and lead on this crucial issue. He recognizes the Individual Mandate is an overreach of the federal government's power into the lives of the citizens of Arkansas. I am proud to stand with him as he joins this fight on behalf of the people of his state."

Darr said, "According to the Arkansas Department of Human Services there are currently 26% or 771,000 Arkansans on Medicaid. Once the Healthcare Law goes into effect in 2014 over 35% or 1,021,000 will qualify for Medicaid. The federal government will pay for 100 percent of the Medicaid expansion in our state through 2016, and then the amount will gradually be reduced to 90 percent by 2020. That means in ten years, the cost to the state will be about $200 million a year. This is unsustainable.

"As a small business owner I fully understand the ramifications this law will have to small businesses across our state. I have had the opportunity over the last year and a half to speak with small business owners and major employers concerning this issue. They have been and still remain steadfastly opposed to the Healthcare Reform Act.

I am hopeful that the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals will move expeditiously in reaching a just and equitable decision on this matter."